My back has been having a bit of a flare-up recently. It was doing better and the pain had pretty much gone away, so a couple of weekends ago I ended up over-exerting it. I didn't do anything particularly strenuous, just straightening and organizing, and I put together one of those assemble-yourself particle board cabinets. But my muscles are sensitive, and even that was too much, and the pain returned. A week-and-a-half later and I'm still not back to where I was. It's very frustrating.
On top of that, work right now is in a place of transition, uncertainty, and lack of focus. I have finished up old tasks, and have yet to be brought into new ones, so I don't have a whole lot to do at the moment. I find blank days without clear tasks to be stressful.
How easy it is to start feeling sorry for myself. I try to keep a positive attitude, but, like so much in life, that takes practice and attentiveness. I realized a day to myself would help me regroup. So, since I have plenty of vacation time saved, I took a day off yesterday, stayed home, and meditated.
My goal was to spend most of the day studying my breathing practice and meditating. I flipped through Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power, which I recently bought. I can't do any of the moving kriyas right now, but I did find a couple of pranayama techniques to try. One that I particularly liked was basically breath retention after an inhale, combined with a mantra (Sa-Ta-Na-Ma).
After the breath work, I spent much of the afternoon in meditation (almost 3 hours, with breaks every hour). The pranayama must have stirred stuff up, because it wasn't until the third hour of meditation that I finally felt like I had a good meditation. Then I went to meditation class, where we meditated another 45 minutes!
After three-and-a-half hours I was definitely ready to be done meditating. But I got some clarity and peace about some things that came up. And I feel much, much better today. I have am so glad I gave myself that break. I needed it.